Big Changes to Kentucky Speedway


By: Kobe Lambeth

Kentucky Speedway will have an entirely different look when NASCAR returns to the track in July. There are major plans in place to renovate the track.

“Modifying Turns 1 and 2 will present an exciting challenge to the drivers while addressing issues of the track surface, SAFER barrier and drainage will improve safety, which is always our paramount concern,” said General Manager of Kentucky Speedway, Mark Simendinger.

I really love this idea of increasing the banking in Turns 1 and 2. It will be interesting to see how this idea works. Most race fans are probably going to be disappointed that the entire 1.5 mile track will be repaved. The track is known for its “former” old school racing surface. It was exciting to watch the cars “slip and slide” when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ran the new low downforce package last season. Going into the 2016 season, I was looking forward to watching the Sprint Cup cars with lower downforce race on a track with an older surface. Unfortunately, that will not happen as the speedway is getting a “facelift.” I do not know if the racing will look like a dirt track event, but I am looking forward to Kentucky race weekend!

Vice President of Operations and Development for Speedway Motorsports Inc., Steve Swift said, “We have assembled an excellent team, all of whom are familiar with the demands of speedway construction. I am excited about the finished product as we wanted to present a unique challenge to the drivers. This design, with Turns 1 and 2 completely different than 3 and 4 accomplishes that goal. The big winner will be the race fan.”

Those are pretty encouraging words from Steve Swift. It will be interesting to see how the changes affect the racing. What do you think of the changes to Kentucky Speedway race fans? Miss the old surface already? Excited about the possibilities of a new challenge for the drivers? Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions!

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